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What is the Social Security Disability application process like?


The process of applying for Social Security Disability (SSD) Insurance benefits can be difficult, so Georgians may wonder what they should know as a disabled individual to apply for disability benefits. It is best to apply as soon as possible once they become disabled if they discover they will be disabled for a period of time expected to last longer than a year.

Georgians can file online, in person or by phone. The initial application is reviewed by a state disability agency and one should receive a response in several months. If their initial application is denied, they can appeal. But, appeals must be made within 60 days from the day the appeal notice is dated.

If one is applying for disability benefits, they may also wonder how the Social Security Administration determines if one is disabled. A disability examiner reviews the application along with a doctor.

The disability examiner will gather medical records and evaluate medical conditions, as well as the age, education and work history of the applicant for disability benefits. When determining the applicant's eligibility for benefits, the disability examiner also considers the applicant's ability to work and ability to perform alternate types of work than the type of work the applicant previously performed.

Certain medical conditions, on the Compassionate Allowances List, are considered so severe that they automatically qualify the applicant as having a disabling medical condition. In these circumstances, minimal evaluation of medical records is required.

Additional options may also be available, depending on the situation, to expedite an application for disability. In addition, to help an application to possibly be processed more quickly, it is important to keep in mind to be forthcoming and thorough when applying for SSD benefits and to provide all relevant information.

The process of applying for SSD benefits can be long, but applicants should understand the process beforehand. Applicants should also be persistent, keeping in mind that two thirds of claims are initially denied, but a number are approved upon appeal. The more the disabled application understands about the process the greater likelihood of success and reduced likelihood of frustration when applying for SSD benefits.

Source: NOSSCR.org, "Application Process," accessed on Aug. 7, 2016

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